Monthly Archives: February 2013

When the Storm Passes

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When the Storm PassesWhen the Storm Passes by Julie Jett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s May 22, 2011, in Joplin, Missouri, and thirteen-year-old Avalie Milner has just finished dinner. Within minutes, a mile-wide tornado will change her life.

After being rescued from the rubble of her home, Avalie sets out on a mission: to find her loved ones, to restore her home, and to survive on her own in a world that will never be the same.

Reading this book I learned about how many of the tornado survivors went on-line to Facebook in order to reconnect with each other after the storm. I’ve been intrigued for a long time by the affinity that many people seem to have toward Facebook. This story gave me a new insight, an epiphany, into the personal nature of an impersonal medium.

 When the storm passes, there may be rain and wind and destruction, and even death.
When the storm passes, there may be fear and pain and longing and silence.
When the storm passes, it is time to mourn those lost, to rebuild, and start again.
When the storm passes, a new life begins.

I have relatives from Joplin, Missouri, who survived the catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin in the late afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. I usually don’t read Young Adult novels, but my familial connection with the setting for this story piqued my interest. While I would have undoubtedly enjoyed this book even more were I still a teenybopper, the realism of events and emotions throughout the book were riveting for me, even at my age. I enjoyed this novel, had a good cry, and would recommend it to all others of any age.

May God hold you in the palm of His hand, and give you the peace that comes only when the storm passes.

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All Different Kinds of Free

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All Different Kinds of FreeAll Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with the crime, but the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time a major branch of the federal government had made a pro-slavery stand, and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states’ rights battle that eventually would lead to the Civil War.Yet, the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling. It is the remarkable, unforgettable Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. But she refused to give up, refused to stop fighting, refused to allow her soul to be enslaved.

All different kinds of free, and all different kinds of bondage too. Heartwarming, and heartbreaking. In my revery I laughed out loud, and at times I cried aloud too. This wonderfully felicitous novel is one of the best written books I’ve read in a while, and one of the most sobering too. I highly recommend this book to history lovers, and all lovers of humanity too.

I often marveled at how there can be all different kinds of free…  I suppose now I’ve learned there are all different kinds of bondage, too.

A historical fiction novel, All Different Kinds of Free, has an amazing blend of prose and subtlety of ventricular, with a writing style easy for me to read. That, and a story needing to be told makes this a book I’ll be talking to others about, without a doubt.  I look forward to this author’s next novel.

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